Thursday, December 1, 2011

Turning Dreams Into Goals (Day 53)

Our students use agendas to navigate the school day. They're not allowed to leave the classroom for any reason unless they have their agenda and the teacher signs it. The students hate them and they can be a pain for teachers too, but personally, I really love the agendas - the actual physical agenda itself. It's awesome! I don't know who thought of these, but they've filled the pages with tips for staying organized and career planning, peppered in motivational quotes, and provided maps, charts, formulas and basic elements of education for students to flip to as needed.

For a geek like me, they're a dream! But among all that goodness, my favorite is the motivational quotes. I know it's kind of cheesy, but they're short, sweet, and right to the point.

Yesterday I was thumbing through my agenda while I waited for the principal and I read this: "Remember, without a plan, a goal is just a dream."

It's so true! And it makes me think of another great quote, "If you fail to plan, your plan will fail." Doesn't anybody else think these are brilliant?! It's like a slap to the forehead, or the proverbial "d'oh!"

So yes, I think I am finally ready to lay out some plans to reach my goals. Let's start with a plan for blogging at least once a week. My problem hasn't been that I have nothing to say. It’s quite the opposite in fact. Ever since I turned off the t.v. and started really living, I've had an abundance of blog posts. BUT -- they're all in my head. I have a running list of ideas that I need to address. The hardest part for me has been finding time to write and simultaneously feeling like "I still need to write about that other thing before I can write about this new thing!".

So I don't have a plan spelled out for you right now in this moment, but that, in fact, is part of my plan! Step one is to cut myself some slack....leave room for imperfection. Write something inspired and leave it alone. Write it when I feel it -- even if I do have two months worth of inspiration begging my attention. Eventually all those posts will find a way from my head to the blog, and it's okay that they're not going to be written in the order they happened. (Isn't it funny the rules we set for ourselves that we simply wouldn't expect from anybody else?)

Step two will be to write when I have time. And write, and write, and write. I follow a blog written by Ashley Ann Campbell -- I've been reading it every day for about a year now and am constantly inspired and moved by what she writes. Ashley's blog "Under the Sycamore" has been a strong influence in my desire to write a blog of my own. Along with her husband four adorable little ones, Ashley celebrates the daily mundane things about life, only, through her eyes, her photos, and her words, things aren't mundane. They're vibrant and lively and they are....LIFE...a reason to celebrate. Recently I wrote to her to let her know I saw her photo miscredited on another site, she wrote back and we went back and forth a tiny bit. I mentioned to Ashley my inability to blog weekly and my awe in the fact that she manages to blog daily. She gave me a tip: her posts aren't written daily. They're usually written in advance and then scheduled to go out each day. Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? Thank you Ashley! That gives me such freedom and as long as I apply both of these first two steps I think I have a real chance at reaching my goal.

I like to imagine that someday when I'm an actual teacher with a classroom of my own, I'll take time at the beginning of the year to cover all the benefits of the agenda and to periodically use the tips and quotes as launching points for discussion. Until then, I'll just keep thumbing through it myself...being inspired...practicing physics equations...and studying that political map of the world. :)

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